Saints QB Drew Brees said that the NFL “has yet to provide evidence that proves the Saints paid out bounties to players who intentionally sought to injure opponents.” Brees: "There's been an investigation, there's been a lot of stuff put in the media as to what was going on, but has there been anything to back it up? No, there's not. Not yet." He added, "A lot of those coaches were living in fear of their careers if they didn't 'cooperate.' I'm not convinced that some of those words and some of those statements were actually theirs” (NEWSDAY, 6/27).
BACK TO SCHOOL: In Chicago, Matt Bowen noted the NFL is holding its rookie symposium and the players' attendance is “now divided by conference (NFC: Sunday-Wednesday, AFC: Wednesday-Saturday)." The symposium will "focus on four main areas of education: NFL history, experience, player expectations, professional and social responsibility.” NFL VP/Player Development Troy Vincent said, "We divided the participation level in half.” He added, "I'm now dealing with less than 140 per session. Now when I get them into those breakout sessions, I'm dealing with 20-25 guys." Vincent said of the new format, "This is no longer a three-day orientation of what not to do. Absolutely not. We are going to talk about this NFL experience. Adam [Pacman Jones] brings a testimony. Michael Irvin brings a testimony. Aeneas Williams, Hardy Nickerson, Ross Tucker. We have a variation of different people from different walks of life" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/26).
CURIOSITY ABOUNDS? In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel wrote, "There is more than curiosity for the return of F1 to the U.S. Or there better be more than curiosity.” Engel: “As we have seen before, curiosity among U.S. race fans for this European product has been the death of this series in the U.S. Curiosity can sell tickets for about a year or two. Maybe three. Only a genuine interest and a following is going to make this a sustainable venture.” Engel continued: “Personally, I am jazzed that F1 is coming back to the U.S., even if it does mean that one of the worst people in the international sports scene -- F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone -- is back in this country. My feeling remains the U.S. should never even have considered F1 until Ecclestone is out” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 6/25).
OPTING OUT: The National Lacrosse League’s BOG has “opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement, which had two years to run.” The recently completed ‘12 season was “the fifth year of a seven-year agreement that was agreed to prior” to the ‘08 season. The agreement “provided for either party the right to opt out of the final two years of the agreement (2013 and 2014 seasons).” The vote was taken Monday at the annual NLL BOG’s Meetings in N.Y. NLL Commissioner George Daniel earlier this year had said that “economic conditions for the league had changed since 2008” (BUFFALONEWS, 6/25).